Back Home House
The Back Home House (BHH) is a center for the care and re-integration of 30 street children in the age range of 8 till 14 years. The main objective is to re-unify the boys with their families in the society where they come from.
The children can stay here during the day and night for some two to three months and receive care and guidance. Through this intensive form of care the chances of success for a new future with their families increases. The Center Manager is Amon J. Semberya. The house is located in a quiet area at the outskirts of the town, a nice spot with lots of space. There are a number of facilities: a large room where they have their meals, a classroom, sleeping space for the children and the staff, a kitchen, an office and rooms for counseling. Of course there are also sanitary facilities and a playing area.
Three times a week they carry out street work. A good cooperation has been developed with the Railway Children of Africa Foundation and other, similar organisations active with street work. They motivate the children to go to the Back Home House. Therefore every week a few new children arrive in the BHH. There is also a cooperation with other organisations in Mwanza that work with vulnerable children.
During the three months that the children stay in the Back Home House, they are helped with their problems through counseling and trauma healing. Their addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is being addressed and through good medical care and good food the physical condition improves considerably. In this period they can already get used to a more regular life. Another important subjects that gets full attention are the basic competences like reading, writing and arithmetic because the child will have to start going to a primary school. Through this intensive form of care the chances of success for a successful re-unification with their families increases.
There are personnel files containing all details, including the reasons the child has run away: violence, incest or the fact that the parents are divorced or have died.
All the children are looking for a better future.
In 2012 and 2013 there were on average 30 children in the BHH.
Our objective is to re-unify all the children. We check the home situation of the child and the reason that the child went to the street. Once the child is ready and really wants to return home, one of the staff members accompanies the boy going home. Because the children come from far away and the road conditions are often poor this is quite an undertaking. But it is worth doing! When it is not possible to go back home, we look for solutions in cooperation with the family and the family is assisted with the preparation for the return of the child. When this does not succeed we look for a foster family in the social environment where the child came from. Our other center Malimbe Family offers a limited opportunity to look after a child that really cannot return to his own family at all.